Development experts say the combined impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, and crippling debt burdens have triggered a ‘truly unprecedented increase’ in poverty levels that threaten to undo two decades of progress if urgent action is not taken.
Advocates are calling for Covid-19 vaccines to be prioritised for frontline health workers and people at highest risk of severe illness around the world as health experts warn delays to the rollout of vaccines in Africa stemming from wealthy nations hoarding of supplies could leave thousands dead before vaccination campaigns can make a difference.
A new report published by Oxford University as part of its Young Lives project warns school closures implemented as part of the effort to suppress the COVID-19 pandemic threaten to reduce life chances and entrench inequalities for many young people, with girls in particular at risk of being pushed out of education to start families.
Development experts and aid advocates say the military coup in Myanmar ‘raises the risk of further persecution of the country’s ethnic minorities, threatens to make humanitarian access more difficult, and will make it impossible for Rohingya refugees to return from Bangladesh to Myanmar.’
EU officials say the German government’s decision to continue to provide development assistance to Ethiopia as the rest of Europe withholds funds is undermining the EU’s efforts to pressure the Ethiopian government to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
Staff at the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) say they are shocked by the scale of the cuts to the aid budget they are being asked to make following the government’s decision not to meet the legally mandated spending target of 0.7% of national income.
Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), says rich countries must step up with fresh financial commitments to help the developing world tackle the climate crisis ahead of the COP26 talks later this year.
New research says human-caused global heating is directly responsible for the threat of a devastating flood around Lake Palcacocha in Peru, a threat that is now the subject of a lawsuit against the German energy company RWE.
The EU looks set to put aside plans to create a new ‘European Climate and Sustainable Development Bank’ to lead EU development efforts and instead work to improve the current division of labour between EU institutions, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), and EU governments.
Related: EIB’s growing footprint in Africa